Mindful Monday (7/31/17)

This week, Mindful Monday is all about resources (blog posts/podcast episodes/videos) that emphasize self care and body positivity. (plus some fun photos from my week!!)

Recently I’ve been working on learning to tune in, both to my body and my surroundings, and be more comfortable letting go of the routines and (often subconscious) rules that are present in my day to day life. All of these posts have brought me so much joy and comfort, and I hope they do the same for you.

Mindful Monday (7/31/17)

Mindful Monday Links

I recently discovered the Constancely Eating blog and am completely in love with her joyful approach to food. This post about why there is absolutely no need to try to micromanage our diets or “get back on track” after vacation is especially awesome.

I love Kylie’s posts sharing the food she’s been enjoying lately- she’s such a great example of someone who enjoys delicious food without obsessing over it. The meals she shared in this post look especially satisfying.

Yoga with Adriene is just awesome, and I’m especially obsessed with her Yoga for Healing series. So far, my favorites are Yoga for Anxiety and Yoga for When You Are Sick.

I made a new Insta (and soon to be real life!) friend recently, and her food account is gorgeous and so much fun.

The story of Wild Friends nut butters is so fun and inspiring, and I loved listening to Erica (one of the co-founders) talk about the company on the Party in my Plants podcast.

I also love following Lex (@restoring_radiance) on Instagram for fun, positive posts like this one and the occasional amazing insta-story rant about food freedom and living intuitively.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I’d love to continue the conversation here or on Instagram and hear all about what’s helping you feel joyful and mindful. Have a Mindful Monday and a lovely week!

Find my previous mindfulness here

Mindful Monday 7/3/17

It’s time to bring some mindfulness to your Monday! These are some Mindful Monday links that are brightening my day, and I hope they do the same for you.

3 recipes I want to make this week:

Mac-n-cheese. I LOVE mac-n-cheese, but I never make it at home because it seems so complicated. This recipe is the perfect balance between healthy and traditional, and I think even my little siblings will love it.

Mint Chip Popsicles.  I’m completely obsessed with mint chocolate everything, so these popsicles look totally perfect. Plus, they’re a great excuse to buy some more Eating Evolved 🙂

Tamales. I’ve always loved tamales, but never considered making them at home. This recipe sounds like a bit more of a project, but it looks delicious.

3 forms of movement I’m enjoying:

Bodyrok Sculpt Classes. I sign up through ClassPass (use this link for 40$ off the first month of your membership!) and I have so much fun in every single class I attend.

Walking + podcasts. Sometimes I get really into listening to podcasts while running, but right now peaceful, slow walks are what my body is craving.

Yoga sounds really good right now. I haven’t taken any classes yet, but I want to check out The Pad, CorePower, and Karma Yoga soon.

3 podcast episodes I’ve loved recently:

This one about dating in 2017 is so chill and funny, it totally feels like you’re just hanging out with Christina and Addie.

Nut Butter Radio, hosted by Hannah and Holly, became an instant favorite for me. All their episodes are great, but I especially liked hearing their thoughts on sugar detoxes.

I’d forgotten how much I adore The Chasing Joy Podcast, but I recently started re-listening to some old episodes and totally loving it. This episode with Rachel Mansfield is such a fun and inspiring conversation.

3 blog posts I relate to:

Getting real about therapy is so important, and I love how honest Jess is in this post.

Give yourself permission to slow down and let go of the need for constant productivity during the summer. You and I both deserve to relax, but sometimes its hard to let go of the pressure to be busy all the time.

I’m definitely not going to run a marathon anytime soon, but I love the idea of taking life “one mile at a time.”


I hope you gained some inspiration from this post, and I’d love to hear about what you’re enjoying this week. Comment here or share your thoughts with me on Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links for ClassPass and Eating Evolved. These are both companies that I truly love and that bring so much joy to my life, so I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.

SoCal Trip Recap

Day One

Around 2 pm on Sunday my dad and I packed up the car and left San Francisco. I brought one bag of clothes and one bag of real essentials. Real essentials = snacks (bare snacks apple chips, kind bars, and homemade trail mix), a full water bottle, my favorite notebook, and wireless headphones.

Since our washing machine was broken, I wasn’t able to pack any underwear (yeah, 3 different snacks, no underwear), so our first stop was Macy’s in South San Francisco. I think that’s a real right of passage- when you don’t have any clean undies so you go buy some instead. After spending way to long trying to figure out the difference between french cut, hipster, and bikini styles- apparently my lack of fashion sense extends to underwear- we were finally on our way.

I listened to the Fed + Fit podcast for a good amount of the drive, and by now I think it’s definitely fair to say I’m a podcast addict. I tend to go through intense phases with stuff like that, so I imagine it will pass eventually, but for right now give me all the podcast recommendations!


After about 4 hours on the road, we arrived in Santa Maria. The restaurant options seemed to be pretty limited, but luckily the town has a Trader Joes and that’s really all I need in life. We grabbed dinner and stocked up on snacks, then headed over to the hotel to eat and watch NCIS. I had a lentil wrap with tahini sauce for dinner + dark chocolate almonds for dessert and it was AMAZING. To be fair, I was pretty hungry so my judgement may have been impacted. But it was really good.


My skin has been a bit icky lately, so I put on my favorite clay face mask while we watched NCIS then went to bed.

Day Two

I’d been hoping to sleep in on vacation, but instead I woke up at 5:30 am. I tried to go back to sleep for a while but at 6:30 I finally gave up and watched Netflix on my computer for about an hour. By that time I was pretty hungry, so I just put a jacket on over my PJs and went down to the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Being the indecisive, breakfast loving person that I am, I find breakfast buffets a bit overwhelming. To keep it simple, I have a couple go-to meals such as oatmeal + fruit or eggs + toast. And always coffee, of course. I went with oatmeal (topped with brown sugar and walnuts) and cantaloupe.

After breakfast, we got in the car and drove a couple hours down the coast to Santa Barbara.The views along the highway were incredible and they reminded me how much I love seeing new parts of the world and how lucky I am to get to travel. We arrived with a couple hours to spare before the start of our UC Santa Barbara tour, so we hit the beach! We had a picnic with out Trader Joe’s goods from the night before, then my dad got on a quick conference call and I went for a walk on the beach. By the time we got back in the car to drive to UCSB, my pant cuffs were damp, my feet were sandy, and I was somehow missing a sock. The perfect first impression, right?


For the next few hours we toured UCSB. I loved how the campus was so integrated with nature, and everyone seemed really happy. After the tour, my dad had a meeting in South Santa Barbara and I had some time to explore. I ended up at a cafe called The French Press. They had the foamiest lattes with gorgeous latte art and I felt very cool sipping my latte and working on this blog post.


Then we got back in the car and completed the final 2 hours of our drive to LA. We checked in to our hotel in Century City (right by UCLA) then set out in search of dinner. There didn’t seem to be tons of real restaurants in the area (though there was TONS of fast food) so we settled for Cava Grill. I’d never been before, but it turns out it’s basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle. So “fast casual” food with lots of veggies and fresh ingredients. I got a greens & grains bowl with 3 (!!!) kinds of hummus, roasted veggie mix (butternut squash + brussels sprouts), and a beet salsa type thing to top it off. My expectations weren’t all that high, but it was actually really good. The portions are pretty generous, but I loved it so much I managed to eat it all. It’s really a hard life when your delicious veggie bowls are a bit too big.


As soon as we returned to the hotel I went to bed and fell asleep dreaming of beaches, beautiful colleges, and hummus.

Day Three

I slept in!! It was beautiful. In all honestly I only slept in until 8 am, but considering how conditioned my body is to waking up at 6 am for school, 8 is pretty good. I hit the gym first thing for a quick run on the treadmill. I kinda hate the treadmill and would much rather run outside, but we weren’t in a great neighborhood for running and I wanted to stay on track with my 10k preparation plan because I want to run Bay to Breakers in May! I’m on the 2nd week, so I did a 30 minute combo of running and walking.

We had to be at UCLA for a tour at 10:15 am, so I showered and got dressed then we grabbed breakfast to go at the Starbucks in the hotel. I got oatmeal and a latte then tried to eat and navigate at the same time as we drove to UCLA. After a few wrong turns we finally made it and the tour was lovely. The vibe was a bit more east coast college campus-y (it reminded me of Yale) and I learned they have the one of the best psychology programs in the nation! Now I’m just worried I’ll fall in love with every college I visit, but in the scheme of things that’s a good problem to have.

Once the tour was over we adventured into Beverly Hills to find Mitch and Cam’s house from Modern Family. My parents and I watched the show religiously in 2011/2012 so it was a pretty exciting moment.



Since we didn’t have anywhere to be for the rest of the day, I convinced my dad to drive to Santa Monica for lunch at True Food Kitchen. I’d heard such great reviews on Instagram, and it did not disappoint! I wanted to try everything on the menu, but I controlled myself and we ended up sharing a kale salad and brussels sprout/wild mushroom pizza. Both were incredibly delicious and I can’t wait to try to recreate them at home. The people were so friendly and the weather was beautiful, so it was a wonderful experience all around. After lunch, we took a quick walk through a nearby park, then got in the car (again) for a 2 hour drive through crazy LA traffic to our hotel in Ontario.


We decided to stay in Ontario because it’s close to the Claremont colleges, but as far as I can tell there’s not much there. There didn’t even seem to be any grocery stores nearby, so we ended up going to Target and getting sandwich supplies for dinner. To be honest that wasn’t tons of fun because I was hungry and tired and trying to buy dinner at Target, but it worked out and I ended up with a loaf of bread, a squeeze pack of Justin’s almond butter, and an apple. Back at the hotel, I put together a very sophisticated dinner of an almond butter sandwich, an apple, and a few chocolate covered almonds, ate in bed, then went straight to sleep. I’m pretty sure this is what everyone’s talking about when they mention the trendy LA food scene.


Day Four

I’m writing the majority of this post at 8 am before beginning a day full of college visits and driving back  to SF. I don’t image anything too thrilling will happen, so I’ll spare you all the details, but I had so much fun on this trip and I really appreciate you following along. If you have any recommendations for fun spots/good eats in SoCal let me know because I hope to come back soon!


Bye Bye Boring Breakfast

Breakfast brings so much joy to my life. That may sound silly, but it’s true. All my life my family has taken time to eat together before school/work during the week, and on the weekends we enjoy relaxing breakfasts where we take time to talk, read, and eat delicious food.

So many of my best food memories involve breakfast foods, like the time my little sister and I made ourselves pancakes for dinner and threw in every random ingredient that sounded good, or when my siblings and I would try to make special anniversary breakfasts for my parents.

But recently I’ve been eating the same 3 breakfasts (yogurt + granola, eggs + toast, oatmeal + banana) over and over and over. And those are good breakfasts, but a girl’s gotta mix it up sometimes. Plus, my Instagram is starting to get a little repetitive.

So in an effort to have some fun with breakfast, I’m creating the Bye Bye Boring Breakfast challenge. All of these recipes can be prepared in 15 minutes or less and are sure to bring some variety to your routine.

This week, I’ll be making these recipes and sharing them on Instagram each day. I hope you’ll join me in trying some (or all!) of the recipes and banishing your breakfast blues. If you make any of these recipes, be sure to tag me on Insta or let me know in the comments!


Poached Eggs and Avocado Toast by Pinch of Yum



Pecan Pie Oatmeal


Tuesday (Valentine’s Day):

Chunky Monkey Mug Cake


Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls (these take longer than 15 minutes, but if you have time they’re really fun)



Breakfast Tacos by Nutrition Stripped



Banana Chia Pudding  by Baked Greens



Matcha Green Smoothie (personally I’ll probably have this with some peanut butter toast)



2 Ingredient Pancakes by Gimme Delicious






Top 10 products for a Healthy 2017

As we prepare for a new year, many people take the time to recommit to their wellness goals. As I’ve said on Instagram, I think cleanses and crash diets are total B.S. However, I totally understand the desire to switch up your routine and try something new, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite products that have helped me feel my best this past year.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

10 minutes after I received this book I had already bookmarked at least 15 recipes that I absolutely NEEDED to make immediately. I already knew Dana (Minimalist Baker) is incredibly talented from reading her blog, but this book takes inventive, mouth-watering recipes and amazing photography to a whole new level. At the same time, all the recipes seem completely doable for people like me who maybe don’t have many clean dishes and need to get back to watching Grey’s Anatomy ASAP.

Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer

So I am officially an old woman, considering my favorite Christmas gift this year was a kitchen appliance. But to be fair, I’m pretty sure spiralizers are the sexiest kitchen appliance out there. What could be better than a machine that turns veggies into noodles? Not to mention turning the handle definitely counts as your arm workout for the day. Delicious veggies + a quick workout sounds like the perfect way to kick off the new year.

Rishi Tea Organic Matcha Tea Bags

Ever since I enjoyed my first matcha latte at Peet’s over the summer (while reading a trendy book and feeling very sophisticated) I’ve been searching high and low for an affordable, high quality brand. I finally found Rishi, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve been loving it with lemon and in DIY lattes. Unlike coffee, drinking matcha in the mornings makes me feel refreshed, energized, and calm.

Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

I’m seriously addicted to these bars. It’s hard to believe that three simple ingredients (dates, peanuts, sea salt) can come together to create such a delicious, nutrient packed snack, but Larabar proves it can be done! After spending waayy to much on these bars at the grocery store, I finally started buying them in bulk on Amazon. It’s a great snack AND a great deal, so it pretty much ticks all the boxes.

Swell Insulated Water Bottle

For years I’ve resolved to drink more water, but time and time again I’ve failed. Even  though I knew staying hydrated would improve my skin, reduce headaches, and give me more energy, drinking water was such a chore. In the past, I’d tried apps such as Plant Nanny, but I just forgot to drink water, my plants died, and I felt terrible for killing an imaginary plant. This year, however, thanks to my Swell Water Bottle, I finally met my goal. These water bottles are so pretty, they honestly make drinking water feel incredibly fun and chic.

Lavender Essential Oil

I’m usually so excited (and a little anxious) about my life/school work/projects that I have some trouble falling asleep. Overtime I’ve developed strategies to fall asleep more easily but I’m always looking for new methods, so when I discovered this Lavender Essential Oil I was thrilled! I sprinkled a couple drops on my pillow and was fast asleep within minutes. While some of it may have been a placebo effect, they oil smelled amazing and undoubtedly helped me relax.

AVEDA Rehydrating Lip Glaze Coral Peach

AVEDA is an phenomenal natural beauty brand. I love their commitment to sustainability, good for you ingredients, charity, and animal welfare. I actually bought this gloss as a gift for a friend, so I haven’t tried it, but the staff at my local store was so helpful and brand is wonderful. I’m certainly going to stock up on AVEDA products this year as I focus on clearing the junk out of  my makeup stash and filling it up with quality products.

TRX GO Suspension Training Kit

I’ve been using TRX ropes at the gym for a couple months and they’re so much fun! Using them makes me feel like I’m a little kid at the playground. Unfortunately, it seems many other people feel the same way and the TRX stations at the gym are usually occupied. TRX Go ropes are the perfect solution, as they are unobtrusive and easy to set up at home. You can get in a workout without leaving the house (read: brushing your hair/showering) and you’ll never have to wait in line!

Hoka One One Running Shoes

These are by far the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. I received them nearly a year ago and wear them often, but they are still in perfect condition. I wish it was socially acceptable to wear sneakers everywhere because they really are that comfortable. I do wear them every chance I get, from running to weightlifting to hiking, and the bright colors never fail to improve my mood.

Yoga Mat

Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Yoga with Adrienne. The flows feel amazing and she brings so much joy and positivity to her videos. They’re so easy to do at home and don’t require any fancy equipment, but having a yoga mat really does make the experience so much better. When I started out, my only options were to do yoga on my bed or my hardwood floor- not ideal situations for balance and relaxation. This extra fluffy yoga mat is absolutely wonderful, the only problem is it’s so comfy you may just fall asleep in child’s pose.

I hope these products help you get your new year off to a wonderful start!

Healthy Hacks: Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Does any one else have a habit of spending wayyyy too much money on fancy groceries? I often walk into Whole Foods intending to grab some veggies and almond milk and come out with veggies, almond milk, a handful of granola bars, a bottle of kombucha, and something totally random I saw on Instagram and just had to have.

I’m still in high school and living with my family, so I’m very lucky that I don’t have to buy all my own groceries yet. (If I did, I’d be broke in a month.) However, I am the only one that follows a primarily plant (haha) based lifestyle, so there are lots of foods, such as almond milk and tofu, that I have to buy for myself, and therefore I find budgeting very important.

Assuming I’m not the only one who struggles with overspending (if I am don’t tell me), today I’m sharing some of my tips for keeping the nutrition high and the prices low when grocery shopping.

Top 5 tips for grocery shopping on a budget:

  • Focus on ingredients over brand name. I’m constantly tempted to buy the expensive products I see my favorite bloggers posting about on Instagram, from granola to face wash, but I try to keep in mind that there are alternatives of equal quality for a fraction of the price. Sometimes I will splurge and treat myself to something from a fancy brand, but most of the time I try to find something less expensive with a comparable ingredient list (i.e. few ingredients, real foods, words I’m familiar with).
  • Compare price per ounce. This is a shopping trick my mom taught me when I was still sitting in the baby seat of the shopping cart. Sure, a  $2 carton of almond milk might look like good deal, but if the $3 carton is significantly larger, the $3 milk may actually be the better purchase.
  • Go in with a specific list. This one is pretty simple. If you know what you need and have a clear plan for what you’re going to buy, you will be less likely to find yourself wandering through the store making unnecessary purchases.
  • Never grocery shop in a rush. While making a specific grocery list should speed up the shopping process, it’s also important to give yourself plenty of time to peruse, explore, and find the best deals.
  • Keep a tally of prices as you shop. I find this strategy especially useful when paying for my groceries in cash, as I’m terrified of getting up to the cash register and not having enough money on me to pay for my mountain of food. Even if you’re paying with credit, keeping a list of prices as you shop and adding it all up before you check out saves you from having to nod and smile and pretend you’re not dying inside when the cashier tells you how much money you owe.
  • Sales and coupons are your friends. I bought a pack of Justin’s peanut butter cups the other day that had a coupon inside, so I saved it and redeemed it for a squeeze pack of nut butter.

Using these strategies, I managed to snag all the goods pictured above for just over $30! I’m pretty proud of myself to tell the truth.  I had so much fun practicing mindful shopping, and I discovered some really great brands I’d never tried before. All these great brands, along with what I make with them, will be showing up on my Instagram throughout the week.

If you have any shopping hacks, I’d love to hear about them!


Get Excited for Fall

For me, loving summer is so easy. Being happy and having fun comes naturally when I’m surrounded by sun and friends, without a single essay to write or math problem to complete. In the summer, I’m a more fun, more relaxed version of myself.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed how stressed and uptight I’ve become since going back to school. I having a feeling being so preoccupied and tense makes me less pleasant to be around, and it certainly diminishes the amount of fun I have in my day to day life.

To remedy my autumn blues, I’ve created a list of all the fun things I can do in fall. I can’t wait to reconnect with my relaxed, spontaneous side as I work my way through this list, and I hope it inspires you too!

  • 1st up, fall food!! Personally, I think the warm, cozy vibes of fall make it the best season for food. Hell yes to pumpkin spice everything!
    • Visit your favorite coffee shop whenever possible. Honestly, I don’t even like coffee (tea lattes all the way), but as the weather gets colder there’s nothing like a hot drink and the comfy atmosphere of your favorite café.
    • Buy yourself some fancy tea. For those days when you’re craving something hot and comforting, but don’t have the time/motivation/money to go get one, having a box of luxurious, fall flavored tea on hand is essential. I have a weakness for chai teas, so those are a fall staple, but I’ve also been wanting to try out an apple cinnamon tea to mix it up a little. And if you’re more of a classic tea person, you can never go wrong with a good Earl Grey.
    • I adore pumpkin bread, and love testing out new recipes. This year I’m planning to try Cookie and Kate’s Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread, which sneaks in a little nutrition to help keep us warm through those frigid fall days.
    • For those moments when one is a bit overwhelmed by the pumpkin-ness of fall, but still craving a seasonal treat, Pinch of Yum’s Gingerbread Mini Donuts are there to save the day. I have a donut pan that I haven’t used in ages, and I can’t wait to make these for a Sunday brunch with family or friends.
    • I’m not sure I’m a skilled enough baker to try this recipe, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of homemade bagels for ages, and Inquiring Chef’s Pumpkin Spice Bagels look divine. If you’re able to pull this off, please send me some! (Until then I’ll be counting the days until pumpkin bagels become available at my local bakery.)
  • Fall style is awesome style. Easy and comfy are the way to go, and everyone looks adorable in a big sweater (yes, you definitely do. this is a fact).
    • Fuzzy socks are so important. When I’m feeling down, pulling on a soft, oversized, colorful pair of socks always makes me feel better.
    • When I want to feel cute but don’t have the time or energy to put together a complicated outfit, oversized sweaters are my go-tos.
    • Boots!! I have way too many pairs, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more. I buy most of my boots at thrift stores, but I also love the styles from Steve Madden and Cole Haan.
  • Trying to incorporate new experiences and adventures into my routine helps keep life fun and exciting. Involving other people in these activities is also a great way to reconnect with old friends or create new relationships. This is my “bucket list” for fall!
    • Pick apples
    • Complete a school/work project you’re really proud of
    • Go for a walk and try to capture something quintessentially fall in a photo, a drawing, or in writing.
    • In the spirit of back to school, try a new workout/art/language/cooking class.
    • Watch your favorite childhood movie
    • Carve a pumpkin
    • Create an awesome DIY Halloween costume
    • Prioritize self care. When life starts moving quickly, it can be hard to remember to take time for yourself. Practice mindfulness and relaxation with the strategies from De-stress in 15 Minutes or Less (my first blog post!)

If any of these ideas inspire you, share your adventures with me on Instagram @16goingon60. Have a great beginning of fall!

Weekend Wish List

In all the excitement of getting ready for school, I haven’t had time to complete any real blog posts for this week. I have tons of fun stuff that’s almost ready, but for now I thought I’d just pop in to share my “weekend wish list.” Inspired by ImmaEatThat and Chickpea in the City, this is a compilation of the recipes, products, and activities I’ve been loving recently, as well as those I hope to try in the near future.


I’m Loving:

  • Raw Chocolate Chip Bars by Rachel Mansfield
    • I posted about these on Instagram a couple weeks ago, and ever since then I have been in love. Today I found myself practically licking the bowl (er, food processor) after I made a batch. Even my sugar-loving little brother begs me to make them for him.
  • Larabars
    • Obviously I can have multiple favorite bars at a time, and considering I scored a box of 16 peanut butter cookie Larabars off Amazon for 12 dollars (best deal ever!!), I don’t think I’ll be getting over these anytime soon.
  • Sriracha Hummus
    • The Sriracha hummus from Trader Joe’s. I know I’m late to the party, but this stuff is so good I’m not even mad. If you’re (fashionably) late too, PLEASE go get some and join my hummus party.
  • Chloé jeans (my latest thrift store finds)
    • The other day I tried on about 20 pairs of thrift store jeans searching for a pair that would make me feel special and beautiful and awesome. Just when I was about to give up hope, I found the most incredible pair. Since they’re second hand they’re waaayyy less expensive than regular Chloé jeans, and they make me feel on top of the world.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle by Cake
    • My friend was playing this song the other day and it made me laugh so hard. I showed it to my dad and apparently it’s one of his favorites too, so obviously I now feel very cool. (Not even being sarcastic- he has great taste in music)
  • Nike+ Training App
    • This app is like having a free personal trainer on my phone. The quick workouts are super easy to fit into my schedule, and the customized plan is unbeatable.
  • The Moth Podcast
    • The funniest, sweetest, most heartwarming stories. This podcast has made me laugh and cry, and it is an amazing way to replace Netflix once in awhile.
  • This article on building a food Instagram and this article on photography
    • While my blog, and corresponding Instagram, are not only about food, recipes and healthy eating are definitely a focus, and I am finding both of these articles extremely helpful as I work to improve my content.


I’m Wishing For:

  • Lola Granola Bars + Squarebars
    • Someone please send me truckloads of these bars. Help fuel my granola bar addiction. My obsession with all bars is pretty intense, so when I say these are the best, you can trust me. I know what I’m talking about. While these are too expensive for me to buy often, they’re my go-tos when I want to treat myself.
  • Lunchbots Grown Up Lunch Box
    • The @srunsforcake Instagram feed will forever be my packed lunch goals, and while my school meals may never reach that level of perfection, packing healthy lunches would be so easy and fun with these bento-style boxes.
  • Jordana Eyeliner
    • Liquid Eyeliner??? For under 3$??? Sign me up! I’ve never owned liquid eyeliner before, and honestly I’m not really one to invest in makeup, so this product seems like the perfect, low commitment way to test out the fancy eyeliner trend.
  • Pressed Freeze
    • I’ve been seeing Pressed Juicery’s soft-serve “ice cream” all over Instagram, and I am SO jealous. Hopefully I’ll get to try some eventually, but so far it isn’t sold near me. In the meantime, I’m excited to try Pinch of Yum’s Peanut Butter Nice Cream and Açaí Bowls by Kitchen Confidante to take the edge off my craving.
  • A cute backpack
    • Unfortunately I can’t even list a specific product here because I haven’t been able to find one that looks nice and will still fit all my school shiz.
  • The Bar Method
    • While most boutique fitness classes are way out of my price range, so much so that I’ve never actually been to one,  I’m completely obsessed with them. I think I’d feel so cool walking out of some trendy studio, post-picture perfect workout, on my way to buy a green juice. I know this image probably isn’t entirely accurate, but The Bar Method’s memberships are so affordable I might get the chance to find out!
  • Me Before You
    • Come out on Amazon already!! I missed seeing this in the theater, and I’m embarrassed by how badly I want to see it. (You won’t judge, right?)
  • Homemade Chai Latte
    • As you know, my latte love is intense (perhaps the most serious relationship in my life at the moment), so I can’t wait to try this plant powered, DIY recipe.

This is the stuff that’s been getting me through all the stress of back to school season. I feel like we forget often forget to have fun and treat ourselves when life becomes more challenging, but i believe those times are when it’s most important to practice self care. As always, I’d love to know what items are on your weekend wish list- comment here or go visit me on Instagram!

(End of) Summer Reading List

I love summer with every bit of my heart and soul. Summer is lazy 11am breakfast dates with friends in the middle of the week and singing so loud it hurts at concerts in the park. Summer is saltwater up my nose and the conviction that nothing tastes better than a slightly sandy PB&J after a long day at the beach. Summer is light, refreshing, al fresco dinners followed by ice cream cones the size of my face. Summer is my happy-time, and I know I’m not alone. Can we all start a petition for an extra month of summer? I’m not ready for everything to be over yet.

What summer should be, Exhibit A

During the last few weeks of August, I often find myself torn between the desire to soak up every last second of summer and the need to prepare for the coming school year. Part of me wants to do nothing but lounge in the sun, sleep in, and spend time with family. At the same time, I feel the pressure to buy school supplies, get organized, and prepare for the classes I’ll be starting in the fall.  

Most often, I fail to take action either way and end up lounging by the pool worrying about how I should be taking a math refresher course or getting a head start on an article for journalism. I suppose this is my attempt to find balance, but I’m really just ending up with the worst of both worlds. I’m stressed and distracted, but I’m not actually getting any work done. 

This year, I wanted to make a change. My goal was to find a way to relish the last sun-streaked moments of summer while also easing back into academic-me (a very different person than summer-me). Personally, I think books are a wonderful way to make this transition.

I can’t be the only who reads a multitude of serious, educational books (most often for English class) during the year then binges on romance novels all summer. If it is just a me thing, don’t tell me. Let me live in denial. If I’m not the only one, perhaps we can form a support group. Anyways, I find switching from reading about romance and roses to reading about the policies Franklin Roosevelt can be a bit of a shock to my system.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite “in-between” books. They are entertaining enough to make them truly enjoyable, while containing sufficient food for thought to help everyone ease back into their slightly more serious-minded, academic selves. Now everyone grab a book, hit the beach, and savor those last few moments of summer!

End of Summer Reading List

Americana By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Where’d You Go Bernadette By Maria Semple

Beauty Queens By Libba Bray

The Miseducation of Cameron Post By Emily M. Danforth

Wuthering Heights By Emily Brontë

The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

When the Emperor was Divine By Julie Otsuka

My Beloved World By Sonia Sotomayor

Note: Any of these books would be wonderful choices, and I suggest you look into all of them. To be honest, I tried to provide descriptions but found I could not do these remarkable stories justice. I must admit, however, that I did list them in order of my own personal favorites, so, if in doubt, start at the top.